Monday, August 23, 2010

Make the world healthier

People are fat and getting fatter in the US, also known as 'Fast Food Land'. People are trying to change their lives and their lifestyles to be healthier and lose weight. But then they go back to their easier old habits as they drive past rows of fast food restaurants and turn into the drive through for the greasy bags passed into their windows. Fast food has turned a calorie free drink - coffee and tea - into a latte, mochas and more that have more than 400 calories each - plus whipped cream. Those coffees used to be special for after a nice meal on a rare occasion, not for every morning.

We can all try individually to do our bests but we need to get rid of the chains of fast food who offer cheap easy food to the masses with little or no nutritional value. What happened to fruits and vegetables? Why can't there be a salad and a bowl of fruit on the value meals? Also, how did they turn a relatively healthy item, grilled chicken, into 10 grams of fat per sandwich?

But I digress. The problem is not with the food but with the way the economy and other factors impact our life styles. The government subsidizes corn and soybeans used for animal feed and oil for fryers and high fructose corn syrup. It also includes the cities without grocery stores forcing reliance on fast food. Why can a burger chain afford the rent but a grocery store can't?

We need to promote access to healthy food and reduce access to bad food. We need to make choices that are not influenced by non stop television advertising for bad foods choices - soda, doughnuts, and fast food. (What if the lettuce growers of America sponsored the Superbowl? It would be very green.) Why is it so hard to buy healthy food at sport stadiums and in airports? Skip that sausage and hot dog and get a salad with grilled chicken. Make the right choice.

There is nothing wrong with fast food restaurants but what if they de-emphasized the greasy food and emphasized the healthier foods? What if the government subsidized lettuce growers so it was cheaper for them to promote salads?

If you stop at the doughnut shop, skip the grease and fancy coffee and get a normal coffee and then something with some protein. And skip the drive through, park your car and walk from your car. Your body (and your waistline) will like you better.

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